Absolution

A woman on the street was circling, circling

her shoulder bag dropped down around her waist

she had spittle on her mouth

a frail and old person

scraggly white hair, a stained windcheater

broken,

and yet I was too afraid to help

bad possibilities zinging through my mind

of being hit, attacked, screeched at, misunderstood

at the heaviness of a human body collapsing on me in relief

the time it might suck from me

I walked by

with tears in my eyes.

doesn’t absolve anything

lazy coward me

she stopped circling, the spell broken

by me?

no way to know how the light gets in to a fissured mind

I told a friend later and got upset again

silly, scared me

still hoping for absolution

which she gave

‘you’re a kind person for even noticing. You wouldn’t be crying now if you didn’t mean well’

but I didn’t care enough

I could have given her a tissue to wipe her face

‘did you even have a tissue? I bet you didn’t even have one on you’

I just shook my head and sighed

the secret shame of soft, 3-ply folds in my bag,

putting me to the lie

knowing they were there all along

just like

the least I could have done

was

offer her one

 

Off-prompt for the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo! 

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@raffiklopes

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s